I have had to remind people – women, let’s just go ahead and acknowledge that it’s only been women – that “marital rape” is both morally and legally just rape in Ohio.
(Even though rapist Brock Turner lives here again. FUCK that guy.)
I’ve had to remind people of the existence of marital rape more times than I should have, which is to say, any at fucking all.
So I’ve got mixed feelings about Ferrett’s post about “Mexican Dinner Consent” post a while back.
NOT, I hasten to add, because of anything he actually wrote.
What Ferrett wrote was a nice exploration of the fact that your relationship hasn’t failed if it’s not all mind-blowing sex and experiences all the time. He talks passionately (ha!) about the reality that sometimes you do stuff for your partner(s) that you just kinda want to do, and it’s simply okay sometimes, and that’s part of what relationships are. It’s kind of a real-world reaction to the “Fuck Yes” crowd, and is definitely needed. Good stuff.
I have mixed feelings because I got asked – I’m nearly quoting here – if it counted as Mexican Dinner Consent if you just gave in after saying no several times just so they’d stop pestering you.
Here’s the answer: NO. It fucking doesn’t count. It’s fucking sexual assault.
Are there grey areas? Areas where perception and intent matter?
Of course. I can easily think of an example where I was the person asking multiple times.
But there’s one big difference.
I took “no” as an answer, and there was no retaliation for that “no”.
If it can’t be withdrawn freely, it’s not consent.
That’s something Ferrett acknowledged explicitly with an edit at the end of the post:
It’s good to remember the difference between “a
request” and “a demand.” In my personal terminology, a request can be
freely turned down; a demand has consequences for rejection.
All the above examples are requests – if my wife was going to get
angry at me because I didn’t feel like having Mexican tonight, well, I
probably wouldn’t advise going along with her just to keep the peace.
There is a VERY LARGE distinction between “Do it or they’ll get mad” and
“Do it because it’ll make their life better, and it’s not something
you’re drastically opposed to.”
Or to put it more succinctly:
Even if it’s not a “fuck yes”, it damn well still better be a yes.